Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that for the past few months my heart has been...heavy. As I have tried to carry on, desperately looking for things that will make me comfortable amidst these uncomfortable times, something has been rocking my prayer life. Living the Christian life is often uncomfortable. As His followers we are not called to be Christ only to those who we know will accept us, but we are called to invite all into relationship with the Lord. It's not just for people who share all of our beliefs, not just to some whom we are comfortable with, and not just to those who are in our social class or race; all deserve to be treated with the same love and respect we desire from our neighbors. Our faith is a precious gift that is meant to be shared, but when it is deliberately rejected, we can peacefully move on in confidence we have done our part in guiding another through the Narrow Gate by upholding the truth of Christ’s message- love.
Listen to these words Jesus shares in Gospel of Matthew:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
And...How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”
We are responsible to share the Good News, but we are not responsible for how people will respond. Pigs do not appreciate or marvel at pearls and some people do not appreciate how much the Lord has done for them. We are instructed in today’s Gospel that rather than forcing the Truth of Christ on people, we are to share Christ. And if we are rejected, we are to go elsewhere. We are called to fight, stand up for, and speak what is Truth, but not to use all of our energy explaining to pigs that pearls are valuable and beautiful. It will not be effective. If we remain steadfast in sharing the Gospel of love, we will certainly meet people who are ready and willing to hear the Good News. And sometimes that could even mean humbling ourselves to be that person needing a reminder of Christ’s invitation to love.
What are the RIGHT ways to share Jesus, the Truth, that will not offend people, will change minds and hearts, and will cease any violence of injustice in our communities? How do we share the Gospel of Love if some will not listen?
I wish we all had perfect answers given to us for these questions, but I pray our Gospel today gives you the same glimmer of hope it is giving me. You are not alone in your wrestling through thorns and brush on the path to the Narrow Gate. The journey of faith is not impossible, but made possible by the Lord’s generous help. We are given the guidance of our Guardian Angels, protection of Our Lady, friendship of the Saints, and fellowship of Mother Church to hold our lanterns that illuminate our route to the Lord’s Kingdom.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
When do I feel comfortable in sharing the Gospel with others? Why do I not feel comfortable in every situation?
How has experiencing rejection when sharing my faith with someone hurt me or made it harder to be willing to share afterward?
In what specific ways is God calling me to be open to sharing the great pearl that is the Gospel so that it might be heard and received with joy?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Give me courage to share the Gospel."
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
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